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A Reply

After my post, about MLS 2 teams, I was asked a question.

@jas_bai on Twitter said:

“Good job covering why the MLS 2 teams aren’t a major problem, but you didn’t touch on a side like Wilmington taking on 7 NYCFC players for a one off game vs NYRB. 2 parts to this: they won and those 3 pts will be valuable IF they’re able to make a run at the playoffs. 2) what do supporters of Wilm…or any other non-MLS 2 teams feel when they have players dropped in? I don’t want Clt or Colorado to do it because I want to support my guys, not some players that will only be there once and never see again.”

The question is so multifaceted (and I’m so long winded) that my answer was too long to fit into 140 character incraments, so I’ve decided to write it here.

As far as points are concerned, USL rules allow for any number of loans to come at any time in the season for any length of time. Playoffs are the only time when stipulations apply. Any team with an MLS affiliate has the opportunity to use this rule to their advantage in any way they want. If utilizing loans ends up assisting the Hammerheads, or any other teams for that matter, make the playoffs, the team would not have broken any rules.

From a supporters perspective it’s a little more hazy. To be honest, I do find it odd to look at a roster and see unfamiliar names. I would prefer loans such as they were last year where players like Quillian Roberts, Daniel Lovitz, Jordan Hamilton, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Manu Aparicio had long stints with the Hammerheads (I prefer this way because it allowed me to really get to know the ability of said players and build confidence in them. Now, when I see that a loaned player is on the roster, I find myself wondering if the loans are any good and hoping they won’t mess things up. So far, there haven’t been any disastrous loans, and the fact that the loans are signed with NYCFC speaks at least a little to their credibility as players.), but I don’t think those kinds of loans are necessary for the club right now. Last year, the Hammerheads had less players. Without loans, the Hammerheads only had goalie in the 2014 season, so loans at that time were a necessity to account for unexpected injuries and suspensions. This year, there is more squad depth. Since there are so many signed Hammerheads, I don’t see the need for long term loans. When the Hammerheads played NYRBII, the team had just played Richmond a few days before. That was a perfect time to utilize loans. The NYCFC players didn’t have to travel far their desired minutes, and most of the Hammerheads were able to rest for a game.

I don’t like to think of NYCFC loans and signed Hammerheads as “their players and our players.” I see it like this: NYCFC and WHFC have entered into a partnership for the mutual benefit of both teams. There are some NYCFC players who could use extra minutes from time to time, and the Hammerheads can provide it. NYCFC has invited a few Hammerheads (Corben Bone and Ashani Fairclogh to be exact) to train with their team. Both teams are abiding by the rules of their respective leagues, and both clubs are doing things that benefit each other. It’s up to each individual USL club to determine how they will interact with their MLS affiliate. If getting seven loans for the one day is what the WHFC organization wants to do, I’m fine with that. It resulted in a win for the club I support, and a win without red cards or rule breaking is perfectly okay with me.

--Marissa Blackman

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